Ross Ulbricht, founder of online drug marketplace Silk Road, sentenced to life in prison without parole
Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was convicted in February of creating and operating the online drug marketplace, has been sentenced by a US federal judge to life in prison without parole. He was facing a minimum prison sentence of 20 years.
“It was a carefully planned life’s work. It was your opus. You wanted it to be your legacy—and it is,” said Judge Katherine Forrest. “You are no better a person than any other drug dealer.”
Ulbricht had pleaded with the judge not to hand down life imprisonment. “As I see it, a life sentence is more similar in nature to a death sentence than it is to a sentence…Both condemn you to die in prison, a life sentence just takes longer,” he had said. “I’ve had my youth, and I know you must take away my middle years, but please leave me my old age.”
The 31-year-old was also ordered to forfeit a total of $183 million, an amount that Silk Road is believed to have made in sales before it was shut down a couple of years ago. Ulbricht’s lawyer said they’re planning to appeal the verdict.